DOI link for Introduction
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on those individuals and groups who have brought together residents of disparate up-country estates and towns through a shared ethnic identity as Up-country Tamil. It examines how this extremely vulnerable and marginalized community has acquired a normalized, but still tenuous, position in the modern Sri Lankan nation-state. The book describes the rise of a local bourgeoisie in colonial Sri Lanka through the growth of the plantation economy. It argues that globalization and the transformation in group identifications that it entails are not new phenomena, but have deep histories linked to the spread of colonial capitalism. The book examines Up-country Tamils’ everyday belonging in Sri Lanka from two theoretical perspectives: citizenship and phenomenology. It considers how official decisions regarding citizenship, identity and violence have dramatically affected the everyday lives of Up-country Tamils.